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Slavemaster president : the double career of James Polk  Cover Image Book Book

Slavemaster president : the double career of James Polk / William Dusinberre.


James K. Polk held the office of President from 1845 to 1849, a period when the expansion of slavery into the territories emerged as a pressing question in American politics. During his presidency, the slave period of Texas was annexed and the future of slavery in the Mexican Cession was debated. Polk also owned a substantial cotton plantation in northern Mississippi and 54 slaves. He was an absentee master who had a string of overseers or agents manage his plantation and did not visit his estate while he was in the White House. In this book, William Dusinberre reconstructs the world of Polk's estate and the lives of his slaves, and analyzes how Polk's experience as a slavemaster conditioned his stance towards slavery-related issues. Dusinberre argues that Polk's policies helped precipitate the civil war he had sought to avert.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0195157354 (acid-free paper)
  • Physical Description: xiv, 258 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-252) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
A market for labor power -- Flight (I) Tennessee -- Flight (II) the Mississippi planation -- Profit -- The nature of the regime -- The spirit of governance -- Births and deaths -- Family and community -- Privileges -- Polk's early response to the antislavery movement -- Texas and the Mexican War -- Slavery and Union -- Alternatives.
Subject: Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849.
Presidents > United States > Biography.
Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849 > Relations with slaves.
Plantation owners > Tennessee > Biography.
Plantation owners > Mississippi > Biography.
Slavery > Tennessee > History > 19th century.
Slavery > Mississippi > History > 19th century.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library E 417 .D87 2003 30532413 General Collection Available -

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